Press Release

Media Contact:
Shawnte Loeri

What’s Going On at Home?

COVID-19 Home Meal Prep, Handwashing Behavior and More:

Virtual Conference on March 9-12 Explores Consumer Food Safety Behavior

ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 24, 2021) — The non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) is hosting the Consumer Food Safety Education (CFSE) Virtual Conference, March 9-12, 2021, the only conference in the U.S. dedicated to consumer food safety education.

Conference co-chairs Steven Mandernach, Executive Director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), and Cindy Jiang, Senior Director of Global Risk Management for the McDonald’s Corporation, kick off three afternoons of programming on Wednesday, March 10 with a live session featuring Federal agency leaders addressing food safety and the health of Americans.  Participating Federal officials include:

    • Carter Blakey, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Health People 2030 goals in food safety
    • Paul Kiecker, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, on addressing consumer handling of meat and poultry products
    • Robert Tauxe, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on stresses and impacts of the pandemic on foodborne disease tracking
    • Frank Yiannas, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on looking ahead to improving consumer education in a New Era of Smarter Food Safety, the FDA’s blueprint for food safety in the future

The conference brings together health educators from across the United States to collaborate on behavior change as critical to reducing rates of foodborne illness in the United States. Other speakers include:

    • Sally Lyons Wyatt of IRi presents Consumer Food Trends and the Path Forward where she’ll share current data on consumer food purchasing and home food preparation during the COVID 19 pandemic.  She’ll also talk about what food purchasing trends might stick when people become more mobile later in 2021.
    • A March 12 morning session, Food Delivery — Key Insights and Consumer Education, looks at new research by PFSE and others on household food delivery options, and previews an initiative to support people in handling delivered foods safely. 
    • Michael Kalish and Charlie Kalish – The Cheese Twins – combine humor, serious food safety talk, and a virtual cheese tasting at a March 11 session, There’s a Hole in My Cheese and Other Things to Complain About: A Food Safety Perspective. 

“COVID-19 has us shining a spotlight on home meal preparation, hand hygiene and food delivery,” said Shelley Feist, Executive Director, Partnership for Food Safety Education. “This event offers up new data points and new ideas for connecting with people on the importance of home hand hygiene and food safety.”

Attendees can earn CEUs from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and six other accreditors. 

Other sessions will help attendees gain insight on compelling ways to support people at home to be consistent in reducing their risk of foodborne illness: 

  • Effective communication around handwashing, cleaning, sanitizing and the risks of cross-contamination at home
  • Risk communications lessons from multistate foodborne outbreaks
  • Family meals advocacy and support
  • Health communications programming in the absence of in-person events
  • Food safety education and social media in the era of COVID-19

The complete conference program can be found online at  Media can register to attend by contacting by March 8.

The conference is supported in part by BAC Fighter Community Connectors Amazon, Beef Checkoff, International Association for Food Protection and USDA FSIS. 

The 2021 Consumer Food Safety Education Virtual Conference is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award R13FD006956 totaling $180,000 with about 3% funded by FDA/HHS and about 97% funded by non-government source(s).  Additional support is provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI project 2020-06179. 


About the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE)

PFSE is the U.S. leader in advancing dialogue and program collaborations that improve people's access to actionable solutions for reducing the risk of foodborne illness for themselves and their families.  For more information, visit

Contributors to this important food poisoning prevention work are Amazon, Cargill, FMI Foundation, and NSF International, among several other great leaders representing the food industry, consumer groups, scientific and professional associations. For a full list of contributors click here.